Why Are My Peace Lily Leaves So Small? ( Top 7 Reasons )

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Peace Lily with small leaves are often attributed to inadequate care or unfulfilled requirements.

However, it’s also plausible that you’re diligently tending to your plant, and these characteristics might be due to its age or specific variety. Regardless of the cause, there’s always an explanation for why this otherwise lovely plant isn’t flourishing.

Peace Lilies demand a stable supply of light and moisture to develop their iconic long leaves and graceful blossoms. Regrettably, the Peace Lily can remain undersized because of nutrient shortages, pest infestations, and overcrowded pots. Additionally, smaller varieties and younger plants tend to exhibit more compact growth.

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Young Peace Lilies Have Smaller Leaves

Peace Lilies typically only begin flowering when they reach full maturity, which is usually around five years of age. Prior to this stage, they primarily concentrate on leaf growth. Consequently, even if you acquire a Peace Lily with large leaves initially, subsequent leaves may be smaller in size.

Commercial nurseries often use synthetic hormones to stimulate accelerated growth and premature flowering, and Peace Lilies are no exception to this practice. However, it’s essential to note that when you purchase a plant adorned with abundant, vibrant flowers, subsequent blooms may appear smaller and more delicate in comparison.

To address this issue, all you need to do is exercise patience. As the plant matures, its leaves will naturally grow larger, and once it reaches full maturity, you’ll be rewarded with those beautiful flowers. If your peace lily is not growing then check out my recent article Peace Lily Not Growing ( Top 8 Reasons ).

Not Enough Light

Peace lilies are frequently recommended for low-light areas, but they actually need relatively bright indirect light to truly flourish.

While peace lilies can survive in dimly lit rooms, the key word here is to survive. For optimal growth, they require bright indirect light, leaning towards moderate levels. This is particularly important for varieties with smaller spathes, as they are the ones that signal a need for more light. Move your Peace Lily to a brighter location within your growing space. A room with a southern or southeastern exposure is perfect. But be cautious not to expose the Lily to direct sunlight, as stray sunbeams can scorch its leaves.


It’s a common misconception that a Peace Lily wilts dramatically when it needs water. In reality, when a Peace Lily starts to wilt, it’s already severely dehydrated. The water that provides structural support to the foliage has been used up to sustain the plant, resulting in wilting.

Frequent wilting can lead to crispy leaf tips and edges and can hinder the plant’s growth. It spends more time recovering and produces smaller leaves and flowers.

Water your Peace Lily before it begins to droop. These plants prefer consistently moist, but not waterlogged soil. The frequency of watering should be adjusted based on the season, the size of your Lily, and the ambient temperature of its growing environment.

For instance, during the summer, you may need to water once or twice a week, whereas in the winter, once a month could suffice. A straightforward way to manage your Peace Lily’s soil moisture is to check it weekly. When the top layer of soil feels dry to the touch, it’s time to water. For a more precise approach, you can use a moisture meter to assess the moisture levels beneath the soil surface. If you want to use grow lights for your peace lilies then check out my recent article Peace Lily Grow Light ( LED & Grow Lights ).


Both underwatering and overwatering are detrimental to Peace Lilies, as an excess of water around the roots can hinder the growth of large leaves.

To understand this paradox, it’s essential to grasp the role of roots in a Peace Lily’s growth. Excessively wet conditions are favorable for the growth of fungi, which can lead to root rot. Consequently, when the roots are affected by rot, they become unable to absorb essential nutrients and water from the soil.

Firstly, the Peace Lily should only be watered when the soil has dried out. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, repotting the Lily might be necessary.

Soil that retains excessive moisture can exacerbate the problem even with a slight increase in water. Peace Lilies thrive in potting soil rich in organic matter that provides good drainage.

Not Enough Nutrients

Producing leaves and flowers is an energy-intensive process that relies on adequate light, suitable soil, and specific minerals.

If you notice small, feeble leaves on your plant, it could indicate nutrient issues. Another sign to watch for is the yellowing of leaf tissue, particularly between the veins, which could signal a magnesium deficiency.

To address magnesium deficiencies, you can use a small amount of Epsom salts. Begin by diluting two tablespoons of Epsom salts in one gallon of warm water. Once the solution has cooled, spray it directly onto the plant’s leaves to provide the magnesium where it’s required.

To prevent further problems, go for a high-quality organic fertilizer that is low in nitrogen. Excessive nitrogen can lead to lush foliage but a lack of blossoms. If you want to know how much light your peace lilies need then check out my recent article Peace Lily Light Requirements ( Less Is More! ).

Pests And Diseases

Peace Lilies are typically resistant to pests and diseases, but even hardy plants can succumb to infestations or infections.

Identifying insect pests is relatively straightforward. Look for tiny bugs congregated under leaves and along stems, especially in crevices and where the leaves join the branches.

Common culprits like fluffy white mealybugs, smooth dark scales, and vibrant red spider mites often try to conceal themselves.

Detecting diseases can be more challenging. Keep a watchful eye for irregular brown or yellow spots on the leaves and soft sections on the stem.

Root diseases can be challenging to identify as they primarily affect the roots beneath the soil.

Two prevalent culprits behind unexplained dieback and reduced plant performance are Pythium and Phytophthora, which often manifest as unhealthy roots. If you notice that your plant’s roots are brown, black, rotting, or emit an unpleasant odor, it’s a clear indication of a problem.

If you identify pests early, you can physically remove them from your plants. A method I find effective is placing the infested plants under a showerhead or using a garden hose to spray them.

Another approach is to use rubbing alcohol applied with a cotton swab to eliminate pests. In cases of severe infestation, a neem oil spray can be used.

Dealing with diseases is more challenging. Fungal infections often result in leaf spots, and the best course of action is to trim away the affected leaves.

For root-related fungal issues, copper-based fungicides can be effective. Always follow the product label instructions and take safety precautions like wearing gloves when using potent chemicals.

The Pot Is Too Small

While Peace Lilies can tolerate some degree of root binding, their new leaves may not reach their full size potential if they lack adequate room to grow.

Furthermore, since the soil provides the essential nutrients and resources for leaf development, a depleted soil can result in a lack of leaves.

If you notice the plant’s roots emerging through the drainage holes or if the soil appears exhausted, it’s a good indication that it’s time for repotting.

When repotting your Lily, go for a pot that is no more than two inches wider than its current one. This allows the plant to benefit from the fresh soil and nutrients available in the new pot.